Livingstone puts his foot in his mouth, again

| | Comments (20)

The Guardian and The Independent report yet another of Mayor Ken Livingstone's extraordinary rants - likening a Jewish reporter to a "concentration camp guard" , apparently, for which he is "is to be formally reported to the local government watchdog, the Standards Board for England and Wales".

This is not accepatable behavior from the Mayor of London.

20 Comments

Did he know he was jewish?

If not, was he meant to know?
If not, is it anti-semtic comment?

Guardian:
"On learning that Mr Finegold is Jewish, the mayor apparently said: "You are just like a concentration camp guard, you are just doing it because you are paid to, aren't you?""


Independent:
"On a tape of his encounter with Mr Finegold, the Labour politician can be heard asking the reporter if he is a "German war criminal" before learning of his Jewish background. He then describes the staff of the paper as a "load of scumbags and reactionary bigots"."

OK, thanks. Look forward to hearing the tapes and the actual record of what was said.

Hi Didn't realise the Mail supported the Nazis!

The tape

The Standard yesterday published a transcript of taped exchanges between the mayor and its reporter:

Oliver Finegold Mr Livingstone, Evening Standard. How did tonight go?

Ken Livingstone How awful for you. Have you thought of having treatment?

OF How did tonight go?

KL Have you thought of having treatment?

OF Was it a good party? What does it mean for you?

KL What did you do before? Were you a German war criminal?

OF No, I'm Jewish, I wasn't a German war criminal and I'm actually quite offended by that. So, how did tonight go?

KL Arr right, well you might be [Jewish], but actually you are just like a concentration camp guard, you are just doing it because you are paid to, aren't you?

OF Great, I have you on record for that. So, how was tonight?

KL It's nothing to do with you because your paper is a load of scumbags and reactionary bigots.

OF I'm a journalist and I'm doing my job. I'm only asking for a comment.

KL Well, work for a paper that doesn't have a record of supporting fascism.

The Greater London Assembly seems to have passed a couple of motions calling for Ken Livingstone to apologise.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4262833.stm

The Mayor should apologise for his racest comments. Once again Livingstone makes a fool of himself, disgraces Londoners who choose/voted for him.
B.Smith

This is just the latest spate of anti-Jewish actions by our disgraceful London mayor. Last year he invited and warmly welcomed Yusaf al-Qaradawi, who is a well known preacher of hatred of Jews and backs suicide bombings in Israel. How can Ken Livingstone represent London as our mayor when he obviously holds such biggotted views himself? Ironic that he calls The Evening Standard a fascist paper when he is so obviously outspoken and extremist in his own views. I say - the sooner we oust Red Ken, the better!

Livingstone makes a point of saying the first thing that comes to mind. Hence he comes out with a lot of things that a more cautious politician would avoid. For that reason he avoids being bland like the others. If he appoligizes he will become just like the rest who only tell us only what we want to hear.
Havving said that I do think that inviting Yusaf al-Qaradawi, for instance, was a mistake. The solution, however, is to vote against him next time round. Complaining to the Race Relations board is just silly seeing as from listening to the tape it seems pretty clear that he probably hadn't even taken in that Finegold was Jewish.

Daivid

So you're against a London politician saying what he feels, wwhich was the point of electing a mayor?

Maybe you'll want the bland wankers who pack out the GLA to take his place?

A mayor should, of course, not be a "bland w*nker" as you so elequently put it. Rather, they should restrict themselves from making offensive jibes at minority ethnic groups. It's not much to expect from someone who is supposed to be representing London, surely!

Ken is hilarious! He talks from the heart and that's what makes him a good representative. So he ruffles a few feathers, I think it's good he's not apologised - he's stuck by what he's said. Those tabloid journalists are sensationalist time wasters and deserve to be fobbed off.

If Ken Livingstone had apologised promptly all this fuss would have died down by now.

I do not agree with most of Ken's policies, but give him grudging respect for his political astuteness.

However, his attempts to divert media attention from himself without bothering to apologise, are a political mistake, and unfitting for someone who claims to represent all of London, even though only 16% of the electorate voted for him (only 13% of first preference votes).

KL is a disgrace. He supports Quarawadi a homophobic racist misogynist. He fawned over the IRA when they were actively killing Britons. Now he abuses a decent bloke doing his job, is told the bloke found his comments offensive as the bloke is Jewish so what does KL do? He repeats and amplifies the insult.
A public figure should have more sense.

Funny isn't it that when he has a wine gum too much he is an idiot. Either he abuses an innocent bloke or people around him just "fall over" for no reason.

Odd because when I drink I fall over not some other person nearby.

RESIGN!

Can i just point out that as far as history goes it wasn't only Jews that were subjected to the concentration camps. This journo is just being selective by what hes offended by, i'm no fan of Ken but i give him total respect for speaking his mind and standing his ground.

Oh Michelle. How ignorant you are. The majority of people who were rounded up across the whole of Europe and systematically murdered and subjected to the most vile campaign of hatred and abuse were Jews. Why don't you look in a history book one day? You might learn something. Yes, a lot of gypsies, disabled people and black people among others were killed in the concentration camps, but the vast majority - numbering 6 million people - including 1 million babies and children, were singled out, rounded up, robbed of all their belongings, tortured, made to work as slaves and murdered just because they were Jewish. Therefore, as most of the Jewish population were targetted, hated for no reason other than being of a certain religion, this is indeed a very meaningful issue for all Jews living today. Every Jew in Europe has many, many people in their family - parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles etc, who were murdered in concentration camps. So, likening a Jew to a Nazi officer in a death camp is no throw-away comment. It's not possible to be "selective" to what offends you. You get offended when people say things which are of sick taste, and borne out of hatred or just pure ignorance.
Check out http://www.holocausthistory.net/# if you want some education about the holocaust.

mark steyn has dinner with the leader of the British nazis' wife. The guy who was going to be edward the eights' preimeminters when he tookover britain, Surely that is a real sign of anti semitism.

Livingstone should clear off and leave London to the English

Mayor,
Your continueous zero-knowledged, stupid comments on Israel and the palestinian terror have become now a real farse, isn't it?

Now, think, please:
The fact is that palestinian terror is an ongoing process for the last 100 years or so - NOT connected to the 1967 six day war.
The fact is that until 1967 the same "occupied territories" have been also occupied, but by Egypt (the Gaza strip) and Jordan (the west bank). So, Mr. livingstone, who prevented them to establish the Palestinian state?
Now, Mr. stupid-comments, think on the current terror situation in the world: not all muslims are terrorist, of course - but "somehow" all terrorists are muslims ! And now "your" muslims openly state theie ultimate goal is to throw away all Europeans in order to force an Islamic rule in "your" country and all other western Europe! Do you listen to them, Mayor, or just talk too much on issues that you don't know anything about?

Welcome to the world of terror, dear Mayor. I do hope England, in spite of you, will quickly overcome the muslim terror, we are doing it in Israel for the last 100 years.

Best Regards, SHALOM,
Meir Geva, just an ordinary proud Israeli

@Meir - this is not Ken Livingstone's website - try http://www.london.gov.uk/gla/contact.jsp if you want to send him an email or letter, and have your opinions ignored, just like the rest of us Londoners

The attitude of the mayor is symptommatic of the way politicians have scant regard for ordinary citizens once they achieve a certain level of office...note the way in which this Government respond to criticism by the plural polity that should in a democracy act as a counter-weight to the power of the state.The mayor is cupable of betraying those ideals that make society a fair and just domain and will in time be be punished by an elightened electorate

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